Monday, September 29, 2008

NFL Week 4

Ouch. My picks below were terrible! I got about 50% right (or wrong if you want to be a jerk about it.) I guess NFL betting may not be for me, but here is the rest of the week in review (covering only the stuff I care about):

My first mistake came when I started Phillip Rivers over Drew Brees in Fantasy Football. Ouch, Brees had arguably the best week of any QB (save Favre) and Rivers tried to let the Raiders win their second game of the week (that seems like the only way the Raiders will win games is if the other team allows them to get the W.)

The Bears beat the Philadelpia Eagles on the Sunday Night Game of the Week. To be honest, I watched the last two minutes of the game because I had a show in Walnut Creek during the game. Coincidentally (or not if you're superstisious) the Bears are 2-0 on days when they play on Sunday Night Football. They are also 2-0 when I play at Pyramid in Walnut Creek during the game and 2-0 when I wear a particular long sleeve t-shirt. They are 0-2 when I watch the game or put more effort into following the results, yet when my effort is going towards entertaining- they win. Well, I guess I need to put as much focus on the Bears as I do the Tyra Show, and they'll play better.

The Redskins upset the Cowboys in Dallas. They played a great game and I was especially impressed with the Redskins defense (besides their Prevent defense at the end of the First Half.) Great win. The NFC East is the toughest division in football.

Current undefeated teams left: Titans, Ravens, Giants and Bills. Odds of any of those teams winning the Super Bowl: 100 to 1

I'm totally spent. I played the fore mentioned show in Walnut Creek (4 hours), packed up my stuff, drove back up to Sac, but on the way stopped at the G Street Pub in Davis to play a quick set. I managed to squeeze in two shows in a matter of 6 hours. I'm either nuts, or I really like playing music- the answer is obvious isn't it? It's both.

Friday, September 26, 2008

NFL Predictions vs. The Spread

I've never gambled on the NFL before, so I figured I try predicting some games vs. the spread and see how I do. I'll put my predicted winner in BOLD.

9/28 1:00 ET Denver -9.5 At Kansas City
9/28 1:00 ET At Cincinnati -3.5 Cleveland
9/28 1:00 ET At Jacksonville -7 Houston
9/28 1:00 ET At NY Jets -1 Arizona
9/28 1:00 ET At New Orleans -5 San Francisco
9/28 1:00 ET At Carolina -6.5 Atlanta
9/28 1:00 ET At Tennessee -3 Minnesota
9/28 1:00 ET At Tampa Bay -1 Green Bay
9/28 4:05 ET Buffalo -8 At St. Louis
9/28 4:05 ET San Diego -7.5 At Oakland
9/28 4:15 ET At Dallas -11 Washington
9/28 8:15 ET Philadelphia -3 At Chicago

Monday Night Football




9/29 8:35 ET At Pittsburgh -5.5 Baltimore

I guess we'll see how it works out. Please feel free to tell me where I went wrong. Also, check out this ridiculous video:


Monday, September 22, 2008

A Case of the Mondays

Cubs Win NL Central! - This is the 100th anniversary of the last time the Cubs won the World Series. Regardless of whether they win or lose in the playoffs, the Cubs have already had an amazing season that have seen a couple first in my lifetime:

This is the first time I've ever seen the Cubs win their division two years in a row. The last time they did this was actually three in a row (1906, 07, 08).

This is the first time I've ever seen the Cubs go to the playoffs two years in a row (once again, 06-08).

Carlos Zambrano threw the only Cubs no hitter I've ever seen. Milt Papas threw the last one in 1972. Apparently every year at the Cubs Convention, Milt would tell Zambrano, "You're going to be the next one to do it." Good call, Milt. You are correct, sir!

Week 3 of the NFL - There were many great games this weekend, and here's the quick recap:

The Bears blew another 4th quarter lead - For the second week in a row, the Bears have the lead going into the 4th quarter, and they leave the game losers. Luckily, this week I didn't go out of my way to watch the game. On the negative side, the Bears were beat by Brian Griese whom they traded to Tampa Bay in the offseason. Griese had over 400 yards passing. Way to welcome back your former teammate. A nice gift basket of fruit would've been sufficient, but letting him march up and down the field in overtime was a little too nice of the defensive unit.

The Giants beat the Bengals in overtime - The second overtime game of the week found defending champion NY Giants beating the hapless Cinncinati Bengals. Each week I'm more and more impressed with Eli Manning. He looks to have found his identity in the NFL.

Oakland loses to the Bills on last second field goal - I watched the large majority of this game and it wasn't half as bad as I thought it was going to be. The Raiders looked a lot better than the sorry, ridiculously terrible team they were in Week 1. The Raiders running attack looked great and their defense was tenacious until the end. On the flip side, the Bills are 3-0 for the first time since the early 90s.

Other games of note:

Jags beat Colts, Niners destroy Lions, Cowboys beat Packers, and Vikings beat Panthers.

US wins Ryder Cup for the first time since 1998:

I'm not a huge golf fan, but since the US hadn't won the Ryder Cup in a decade, I figured it was worth a mention. U-S and A, U-S and A! Phil Mickelson is terrible.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Over/Under

On National Talk Like A Pirate Day, I thought I'd start Over/Under. Take your pick, over/under:

Number of times I've played "Ignition (the Remix)" live. O/U 43.5

Number of times I said the F word under my breath during the Bears game on Sunday. O/U 146.5

Number of times I saw "Jurassic Park" in theaters. O/U 3.5

Amount of points I averaged senior year in high school (basketball). O/U 15

Number of guitars I own. O/U 4.5

Number of Rex Grossman jerseys I have. O/U 0.5

Even better, number of Mark Prior jerseys in my closet. O/U 3.5

Number of shows I've played since 2004. O/U 200.5

Number of bums that ask me for change (on average) when I'm loading music equipment into Pyramid in Downtown Sacramento. O/U 2.5

I'll get some better lines up next week- AAAAAARRRRRRR!

Rex vs. Aaron

Is Aaron Rodgers the second coming of Brett Favre? Maybe. But I'm not sold just yet. I did a little research on:

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/

and found some interesting numbers that compare Rex Grossman's 2006 Week 1-2 numbers with Aaron Rodgers' 2008 Week 1-2. The results might tame a Packers fan's over-enthusiastic reaction to their team's first two weeks this year. (But Tony, why would you want to bum out a Packer fan? Because the Packers are awful and I hate them.)

Grossman's Stats 2006:

Week 1 26-0 Win over Green Bay: 18-26 for 262 yards passing, 1 TD, 1 INT - 98.6 Passer Rating

Week 2 34-7 Win over Detroit: 20-27 for 289 yards passing, 4 TD, 0 INT - 148 Passer Rating

Rodgers' Stats 2008:

Week 1 24-19 Win over Minnesota: 18-22 for 178 yards passing, 1 TD, 0 INT (1 rushing TD) - 115.5 Passer Rating

Week 2 48-25 Win over Detroit: 24-38 for 328 yards passing, 3 TD, 0 INT - 117 Passer Rating

So Grossman had more yards and touchdowns than Rodgers in his first two starts. Both teams beat division rivals, and both QBs looked to have a very bright future as stars in the league. I'm not saying that Rodgers will turn out the same, but I'm also saying that all the Packer fans who think Aaron Rodgers is their savior, they should slow down, take a breath, and realize that they might be jumping the gun a bit. By the way, green and gold are awful uniform colors.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Album Update

I thought it would be interesting to post this. I emailed this to my drummer and producer earlier today stating what is left to do on the new record. A bass player would be helpful, but otherwise it is just tweaking somethings and laying down drums. As you can see, we've getting things done.

As You Wish - 2:25 acoustic guitar late hit, re-do drums? (maybe just first half of the song?), back up vocals

Astronomy - bass, re-do vocals (due to distortion in the track), drums, defining stamp (guitar? synth? other?)

Neon Sign
- percussion solo? 1:40 (during first lines of the second verse- seems like there is room for extra pecussion- any ideas?), stand up bass?

Shallow Water Blackout - bass, drums (add sticks in spots, keep the brushes), vocal harmonies

50 Stories - bass (but I'm comfortable playing bass on this one), harmonies, possible vocal change 2:15

What's Inside - re-do vocals (distortion), light drums (brushes), bass

So Far Away - re-do drums, bass, vocal harmonies, re-do some main vocals at the end of the song, guitar solo 2:23 and light electric detail work

Saturday Boy - bass, vocal harmonies, and a guitar part that stands out (palm muted? octave? some sort of a hook)

This Time Around - add sticks to parts of the song, guitar hit 3:36 (but Karl fixed it in his mix down), bass, melody line with guitar/piano

Kids Playing Guns In the Street - patch vocals (re-do?), drums, bass (this one is actually pretty close and has good character)

What's the Past Got In Store? - electric guitar background fixes, drums into Middle 8 (2:27), acoustic guitar hit 3:10 (fix timing), vocal harmonies, bass (I can play bass on this one as well, if necessary)

Second Rate Song - back up vocals, bass, main vocals 3:48

You're Not Just Another Girl - nothing (light drums/percussion if anything, maybe just a shaker)

Week 2 NFL

Ok. I admit it. I was beyond mad at the Bears game and couldn't confront the situation by way of Blog until now. The Bears absolutely choked away their game against the Panthers. They were up 17-3 in the 3rd quarter and couldn't get it done. But why? Well, Greg Olsen's two fumbles didn't exactly help the situation. Both killed solid Bears drives, and I believe the second one resulted in Carolina points.

But let's not stop there. Oh no, that was just the tip of the iceberg. The play calling was atrocious. "Hey, let's run with Matt Forte on 1st down, gain decent yardage, and then try to surprise the defense with our awful passing attack!" I'm so glad Ron Turner loves to pass deep every play, even though the running game works perfectly well (and would take MORE TIME OFF THE CLOCK.) And seriously, we obviously know neither Kyle Orton or Rex Grossman are hall of fame quarterbacks, but if you want to pass deep every play, the Sex Cannon is better selection at QB than Orton. Orton was 1 of 9 (maybe 10) on passes over 15 yards. If Rex does anything well, it's throw the ball deep. Ron Turner is calling plays like he's playing a game of Madden. The funny thing is that even a Madden player would get dominated with play calling that bad.

I was so mad about the Bears loss, that I barely enjoyed the Carlos Zambrano no-hitter. Imagine that, the first Cubs no-hitter in my lifetime, and I was still bummed out about the Bears. That's either naive commitment on my part, or the Bears, as usual, raising my expectations in order to crush them.

To be honest, I think the worst part was that I went out of my way to go to a bar and watch the Bears game, saw them dominate the first 2 and a half quarters, then come crashing down in a waterfall of mediocrity.

Other Game Headlines:

Terrible Raiders Beat An Even Worse Chiefs

Refs "Hoch" A Loogie On The Chargers

Redskins Elimate Me From Survival Football

Niners Beat Seahawks In Unwatchable/Exciting Game

Bills Beat Jags- Are Maybe Decent

DeShawn Jackson's Actions Are Unexcusable, But Eagles Gives Him "Daps" Anyway- Eagles Lose

Honestly, I'm still mad about the Bears. Choking away a game in that fashion tells me that I can expect more than a decent season where they maybe sneak into the playoffs. Tomorrow: Grossman vs. Rodgers - Is Aaron really that great?

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Cubs Will Win Because Bernie Mac Is Dead

There is a case to be made that Bernie Mac is bad luck for the Cubs and possibly Dusty Baker. This was once discussed by my roommates and I a couple years ago, and I thought about it recently after Mac's passing. Here goes:

Life long Chicago White Sox fan, Bernie Mac, was asked to sing "Take Me Out To the Ballgame" during the 7th Inning Stretch of Game 6 of the NLCS in 2003. My first question is, "Do the Cubs not have famous enough fans?" What's wrong with Bill Murray? John Cusack? Billy Corgan (who incidentally sang at Game 7)? Jeff Garland? What about old Cubs legends? Ryne Sandberg? Mark Grace? Ernie Banks? Billy Williams? RON SANTO? C'mon- he's already in the press box! But NO- they get a White Sox fan because he's moderately funny (I'm being generous) and was filming Mr. 3000 where he portrays a Brewer. Nice choice, Cubs.

As if that wasn't bad enough, where one would normally sing "Root, root, root for the CUBBIES" he sang "Root, root, root for the champs." At the time, I immediately was angry saying, "If he jinxes us I will be so pissed off." Well, as the opposite of luck would have it, with 5 outs to go, a 3-0 lead, and Mark Prior on the mound, the Dusty Baker-led Cubs started to unravel. We all know the rest. Moises Alou doesn't catch a foul ball because of (or not because of- I can't figure it out) a fan named Steve Bartman. Alex Gonzales boots a double play ball. By the end of the inning, the Cubs are down 8-3 and they eventually lose the series.

So you have the obvious Bernie Mac jinxed the Cubs because he sang the song incorrectly connection. However, my old roommate was watching the 2002 World Series on ESPN Classic about a year later. If you recall, Dusty Baker was managing the SF Giants against the Angels. The Giants were up 5-3 and 5 outs away from a World Series Championship, when they were lit up by Angels hitting. If you watch the game over, an ad for the Bernie Mac Show is clearly posted on the backstop. While FOX was advertising their TV show, they inadvertently (or maybe it was on purpose) cursed Dusty Baker. Dusty brought the curse with him to Chicago and the Cubs fell prey to the same fate as the Giants.

Now that Mr. Mac is gone, the curse dies with him and the Cubs are free to win a World Series. There's no Dusty, no Bernie, no Bartman, and don't let any Goats into Wrigley to make up for past altercations (Goats don't even like baseball)- the time has come to forget about all these stupid superstitions and win 11 games in October.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Memoirs of a Cubs Fan

The Cubs sit at 87-58 today with the best record in the National League. Why am I not more excited? Probably because the Cubs are 2-8 in their last 10 games, and their schedule from here on out is Cardinals, Astros, Brewers, Cardinals, Mets, and ending with the Brewers. On top of that, there is the question of health- as in: will Rich Harden and Carlos Zambrano be healthy enough to finish the season? Kerry Wood is healthy but he's serving up runs like Nutrisystem Meals. The offense is helping the team about as much as a bystander who watches someone else get mugged.

With all this gloom and doom I just mentioned, I still believe the Cubs will win their division. I still believe they will do well in the playoffs. And why is that? Well, because I'm a Cubs fan. Look, no matter what any team has done in the past, if you pick your favorite teams when you're a kid, and you stick with them through all of the ups and downs, why hate yourself (and your team) for it? I'm obviously going to be a Cubs fan for the rest of my life, so I might as well enjoy it. I don't think I've ever been more excited as a sports fan than I was when the Cubs beat the Braves in the 2003 NLDS. I can recognize that heartbreak is inevitable if the team you root for doesn't win it all, but why not enjoy the ride?

So with the Cubs coming down to the end of the season, I really hope they get their act together. Really, there is only one scenario where I don't end up punching a hole in the wall, but at least let's make it entertaining- alright Cubbies? And if by some chance, the Cubs make it to the World Series and lose to another Florida expansion team- well, I guess I'll just have to bathe in the cruel irony and "Wait 'Til Next Year" again and again and again.

Tomorrow: The Cubs Will Win Because Bernie Mac is Dead- Stay Tuned.

Monday, September 8, 2008

WEEK 1 OF THE NFL

The NFL is back and it was an awesome Week 1. Here are some of my impressions from the games:

Two TVs: I watched the 10am and 1pm games at my Mom's house. My little brothers have the two TV set up which I utilized to watch the Jets/Dolphins and the Eagles/Rams at the same time. Once the Eagles cemented themselves as really, really, really, ridiculously better than the Rams, I changed that TV to the Cubs game. From the Jets/Dolphins, Favre's first touchdown pass was pretty cool, and his second was a winning throw from his version of Three Flies Up. At least reckless quarterbacking will not affect the Bears anymore.

(I'm now glazing over the fact that the Cubs seriously choked away a games against the Reds. Get this out of you system now guys, because I'm going to lose my mind if you all play like this in the playoffs.)

Payton's Boys vs. Peyton's Boys: Speaking of the Bears, that Sunday night game was something great. I actually had come to terms with about a 6-10 season already, until the Bears absolutely dominated the Colts to open their new Blah Blah Corporate Oil Field Stadium. Matt Forte looked like the running back the Bears thought Cedric "I Take Great Opportunities For Granted" Benson would be. Kyle Orton managed the game very well. For once Bears fans didn't have to watch the game with a box full of Tums. Look, I'd rather have the Super Bowl XLI championship, but if there is one way to exact some revenge, it is dominating Peyton and crew in the first game at their brand new stadium. Awesome.

SF vs. Arizona: This game was awful. After watching the first 3 quarters, I gave up and went to out to eat. I'm torn between knowing JT O'Sullivan is an A-Hole, and wanting someone from UC Davis to succeed. Really, it doesn't matter what I want, the guy is pretty good- for an NFL Europe QB. I played at Pyramid Alehouse at 6pm where I set up and watched the beginning of the Bears game at the back bar. One of the waiters saw I was cheering for the Bears. He said, "Do the Bears still have Rex Grossman- he's horrible." Turns out he's Niners fan. C'mon my brother, making fun of the Sex Cannon is fine, but your options are JT, Alex Smith and Shaun Hill. You're not in a current position to make fun of the Bears quarterback who at least got to a Super Bowl.

All The Other Games: What? Tom Brady is hurt. Colts lose. Chargers lose. Jags lose. The AFC looks wide open now. Also, it is crazy that Matt Cassel hasn't started a game since high school (he got caught behind Carson Palmer and Matt Leinert at USC.) The Packers and Vikings played an awful game furthering my thoughts of a Bears Division Championship. The Broncos dominated the terrible Raiders.

Worst Performance of the Week: The Detriot Lions. That team is so terrible. How do you let the Falcons run all over you? Not that I'm complaining due to my ownership of Michael Turner in Fantasy, but are the Lions going to be terrible forever? Somebody bring Rodney Peete and Barry Sanders back. Hell, I think they might settle for Erik Kramer. (Note to the Browns: you're lucky the Lions exist because you're a close second.)

Quick predictions based on no knowledge what-so-ever: USC over Ohio State, UC Davis over Portland State, Notre Dame over Michigan, and LSU over North Texas.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Shows This Week

Pyramid Alehouse Sacramento on Thursday 6:30 - 8:30pm. It's free and if you say you're there to see me, you get 30% off your bill! They'll have the Giants/Redskins game on as well.

Downtown Vacaville on Saturday at 11am. Playing close to the old theater on Main Street. Come on out for the Farmer's Market and music.

Pyramid Alehouse Walnut Creek on Sunday from 6 - 9:30pm. This was a last minute add, but it's free and what better time than drinking, listening to music and watching the Bears/Colts game?

Listening to: Every Oasis Album - they have a new one coming out on October 7. They might be jerks, but their music ain't half bad.